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Matthew C Klein

Buy $3 Trillion in Stocks. What Could Go Wrong?

People who should know better want to spend trillions of dollars of taxpayer money buying large stakes in global corporations. What could go wrong?

Of the five economic proposals Jesse Myerson lists in Rolling Stone, one stands out, though not in a positive sense: that the U.S. start a sovereign wealth fund. It's a proposal that would prove problematic for capital markets, pose thorny conflicts of interest, and offer vast opportunities for cronyism and graft.

The idea has drawn some support from economists, as well as from bloggers such as Dylan Matthews. Although Myerson didn't offer specifics about creating such a fund, Matthews suggested it could start with the holdings of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds, which now own about $3 trillion in government bonds.